Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Carnival Barker In Chief

President Obama will be doing a new infomercial for the Affordable Care Act today.  Expect to hear a little bit about the "New and Improved" HealthCare.gov website (Now functioning properly 80% of the time--yes you heard right, 80% of the time!)--but more about all of the "great" features already in place--that the vast majority of Americans are apparently too ignorant to notice and therefore must be reminded of every few weeks. 

The cancelled policies, rate hikes and decreased plan options will be conspicuously absent from the sales pitch (Problems? Uh what problems? Hey, look at the great features!!) or just poo-pooed as things that had to happen to make things "fair" for everyone else.  And expect the President to renew his ludicrous call to have families talk about signing up for health care during their holiday gatherings (Tell your friends! Tell your neighbors! Tell everyone you know about the great deals we are running down here at Barry's Health Insurance Emporium and Free Benefits Supercenter!)

This all leads me to wonder, why does so much marketing effort have to go into something that we were told repeatedly for the last six years that people "desperately wanted and needed"--and which is now required by law to purchase?  If the "benefits" of the Affordable Care Act were as in demand as we have been told, the Health Insurance Exchanges should sell themselves.  Does the Oshkosh Wastewater Treatment facility have to run ads or issue press releases reminding people to flush their toilets?  It costs us money (and soon to be more money) to do that--but the benefits provided by the service far outweigh the cost.

And yet, of the 10-million people that needed to sign up through HealthCare.gov, fewer that 200-thousand have done so through the first two months.  Yes there have been website problems--but the more likely cause is that people are getting through all the way to the part where they pick their plan and finally get to see what it costs--and they realize that what they are being asked to pay isn't worth it.  If you believe some surveys, these "dissastified customers" thought what they were about to get was free--while many others failed to understand that they will have to pay their premiums up front--before they can cash in on the federal tax subsidy.  And that is when the find out that the Carnival Barker In Chief has been selling them an overpriced bottle of "firewater" that isn't going to cure a thing.

If the President was smart, he would move from "salesman" to "bad cop" and remind all of these "scofflaws" that they are about to be in violation of federal law. (Health Care Reform is the LAW OF THE LAND--and if you won't buy into it, then I will have no choice but to come down on your HARD with my legion of IRS agents and fines--I mean "taxes" for constitutionality purposes!!)  You could call that going with a "hard sell" if you will.  Because without those young, healthy Americans buying those overpriced policies--the next ad campaign for ObamaCare will be for the "Going Out Of Business Sale".

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